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 (jăn′ĭ-sĕr′ē) also jan·i·zar·y (-zĕr′ē)
n. pl. jan·is·sar·ies
1. A soldier of the Ottoman Empire in an elite guard organized in the 1300s and abolished in 1826.
2. A member of a group of elite, highly loyal supporters.

[Middle French jehanicere, janissaire, from Old Italian giannizero, from Ottoman Turkish yeñiçeri, new army, Janissary corps : yañı, new (from Old Turkic yaŋı) + çeri, special troops (from Old Turkic çērig, phalanx, order of battle).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈdʒænɪsərɪ) or


n, pl -saries or -zaries
(Military) an infantryman in the Turkish army, originally a member of the sovereign's personal guard, from the 14th to the early 19th century
[C16: from French janissaire, from Italian giannizzero, from Turkish yeniçeri, from yeni new + çeri soldiery]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈdʒæn əˌsɛr i)

also jan•i•zar•y

(-ˌzɛr i)

n., pl. -sar•ies also -zar•ies.
1. (often cap.) a member of an elite military unit of the Turkish army organized in the 14th century and abolished in 1826.
2. a member of any group of loyal guards, soldiers, or supporters.
[1520–30; < French janissaire < Italian gian(n)izzero < Turkish yeniçeri=yeni new + çeri soldiery, militia]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.janissary - a loyal supporter; "every politician has a following of janissaries"
follower - a person who accepts the leadership of another
2.Janissary - a Turkish soldier
soldier - an enlisted man or woman who serves in an army; "the soldiers stood at attention"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Increasingly short on specie following the collapse of its silver-based currency under pressure from Spanish-American imports, the Ottoman state attempted to re-impose control through a new tax farming system and the extension of the standing janissary corps to operate alongside its larger cavalry regiments.
These retiring rooms became the headquarters of the Grand Vizier during the suppression of the rebellious Janissary Corps in 1826.
Erdemoglu Selim is a loyal and honorable lieutenant in the Turkish Janissary Corps, whose personal passions include a lifelong love of the the finest gourmet teas.
It seemed to me that the overwhelming concern of the court records I was examining was provisioning, mobilization, and extraordinary taxes, second only to the working out of inheritance cases of deceased Janissary Corps members, but that impression may well have been the result of my gaze at that particular moment.
He tells the story of the Janissary corps, an elite slave caste of warriors and bureaucrats forcibly seized as children from the empire's Christian subjects, raised as Turkish-speaking Muslims, trained to the highest standards, and forced into lifelong celibacy.
To counterbalance Habsburg superiority in firepower, the Ottomans increased the numbers of the existing Janissary corps and enlisted other arms-bearing infantrymen from among the subject population (called levend, sekban, sarica, tufenkendaz).
The elite Janissary corps, which Luttwak calls "the first modern force since Roman times," made a big soup called chorba an integral part of its soldiers' diet.
Akgunduz, there is an interesting law (Devsirme Kanunnamesi) concerning recruitment of Christians for the needs of the Janissary Corps during the reign of Sultan Bayazid II (1481-1512).
Members of the famous janissary corps, dispersed throughout the empire in hereditary positions as great landowners, had cease to be militarily effective.
The legend of Abdal Musa, the dervish who went together with the Sultan Orkhan (1326-1359) during his conquest of Bursa in 1326 and thereafter perpetuated the memory of Hadji Bektash by founding a first community of dervishes bearing his name, as all the subsequent legends concerning the foundation of the Janissary corps and its attachment to Hadji Bektash might have been nothing more than the "intrigues" of Bektashi leaders, aimed at appropriating the organization of Janissaries while the latter recognized Hadji Bektash as their patron saint and the Order of Bektashis as their spiritual ally.
During the height of the Ottoman Empire (fifteenth and sixteenth centuries), the ruling sultans made effective use of their Janissary corps of foot soldiers.
Before the rout of Genoa from the Black Sea, the Ottoman sultans too had formed their legendary Janissary corps.